Encouraging students to do their best in school starts with the most important thing they can do - attend school. Students who attend school regularly bolster their potential in the classroom as well as self-confidence. When students aren’t attending, however, the opposite is true. It’s up to teachers and administrators to create a culture that inspires students to want to have strong attendance. Here are some ways this can be accomplished:
- Incentivize attendance streaks with positive reinforcement. Instead of celebrating a perfect attendance streak at the end of the school year, run monthly contests. A free homework pass is a positive reward for maintaining attendance.
- Encourage students to arrive to class promptly over not attending at all. Sometimes students choose to skip class or school because they feel discouraged or struggle to be on time. Instead of being critical of the tardy students, implement incentives for students who arrive on time like a bonus point on a quiz or extra free time during class.
- Create a competition between classes for the best attendance. This can help create a community of excitement and teamwork toward a common goal.
- Remind students often that showing up is an essential part of learning. Tell students who regularly attend that it is an accomplishment to be proud of. This positive reinforcement can also be communicated to their parents. It’s a subtle reminder that they are working hard by making it a priority to attend class.
When using these different ways to incentivize attendance, be sure to communicate that legal absences, such as due to illness, don’t harm their attendance record. Students and parents need to know that there are circumstances in which absences are necessary and won’t deter students from being rewarded for attending school during regular circumstances.
The key in any method is to encourage students to attend, rather than discipline or be critical of their failure to attend. Creating a positive environment that celebrates and rewards regular attendance will go a long way in helping students make the correct choice and attend school.